How to Get Rid of Rodents In a Car

A rodent gaining access to your car can create an awful situation. Rats and mice carry diseases, leave behind droppings, and can tear up wires in your car that could turn into an expensive repair. If a rodent dies in your vehicle, it leaves behind a putrid smell that could linger for months in your car. There are many ways to discourage a rodent from getting into your transportation, but it is probably too late for prevention if you are already looking up how to get rid of rodents in a car. Once you have them out it will be important to take measures to stop them from taking up residence in your vehicle again. 

Rats like to chew on soy-based car wires.

Removing Rodents

If there are rodents in your car already, getting them out is the first step. This may be tricky if they are in your vents or under the seats. It could require removing parts to get to their nest or get them out of the car. You can often drive the vehicle and the rodent itself will flee, but it will always return if it has made your car its home. You need to get rid of all of their nesting and any other comforts of rodent home. Use a vacuum to remove their hoarded food, droppings, fur and other things that a rodent may have carried into your vehicle or engine compartment. A complete car detail could also be necessary to get the hard to reach places cleaned up and rodent free. 

A mouse or squirrel will find places to hoard food and make a nest. This could be in a low spot under the hood, or in the air filter housing. Wherever it begins to decorate, it is important to remove all of the nest and food. You may need the assistance of a mechanic to remove the parts needed to get to its nest. An inspection of the wires will determine if the mouse has caused some damage that needs repaired. 

If a rodent has crawled into your car and died, you will notice a terrible smell and will want to remove it as soon as possible. It may have been in your blower motor or in a vent somewhere. You can follow the smell, or have a mechanic look in all of the possible locations, remove the dead rodent and clean up the residue to help eliminate the smell. Using a deodorizer will help with the smell and may be necessary to make it bearable. 

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Car

After you get the rodent and its home out of your car, you’re going to want to keep them out. Nothing is more annoying than a rodent that keeps coming back, causing damage, and leaving droppings all over the place. Rodents getting into your car is an effect of the environment, or where you keep your car parked. Here are some ways to prevent the rodents from returning to your car.

Drive the Car Regularly

Rodents settle down in a car when it sits for an extended period of time. If the car isn’t driven often and is parked in an area with a rodent population, they will eventually explore the location and possibly make it their new home. Drive the car regularly to avoid these pests filling vacancies. 

Park the Car in a Garage

If you have the option to park your car in a garage you can avoid some of the outdoor rodents. However, if your garage is dirty and has mice you may need to take extra precautions to keep them out of your car. Keeping the car inside in a clean environment is an effective way to keep rodents out of your car. 

Remove Food and Keep the Area Clean

Rodents typically hole up in areas that have a good food supply. The air filter housing is a perfect place for acorn storage, and crumbs and candy you leave in the cab is a temptation rodents can’t resist. Keep the area where you park your car free from foods that a squirrel or mouse may want to store. It is also helpful to keep your car clean and throw away the leftover food instead of throwing it on the floorboard of your vehicle. 

Cat or Dog

Having a pet that kills mice or rats is an easy way to keep them out of your car. If you park your car outside, you may need an outdoor cat or dog to patrol the area and keep it rodent free. Many rodents will avoid the territory that is occupied by one of its predators. 


Mouse traps are one of the oldest and best ways to get rid of the pesky creatures. Set some traps in areas around your car and check them regularly to thin down the population or get rid or the sole perpetrator. 


I would avoid using poison if you have other animals or even children that may come in contact with it. If you don’t have a dog to defend your car, poison is an option similar to traps. Keep poison in some locations around your car to fend off anything from squirrels to rats. 


Mothballs are a great way to keep the rodents away. You should only use the mothballs if you do not have pets or children that are going to get into them. Mothballs are filled with pesticide and deodorants that keep rodents, snakes, moths, and larvae away from the area you place them. You can put mothballs under the car or near the hood to deter rodents from making it their potential home. 

Be Relentless

Whether you are preventing rodents from entering your vehicle or you need to get rid of rodents in your car, don’t let up. Rodents can cause a tremendous amount of damage if they dwell in your car for an extended period of time. Wiring harnesses are expensive, and labor to replace chewed up wires can be very costly. Be relentless in your pursuit to remove the rodents and prevent them from making a home. Be careful with poisons and traps and use the method that is best for your situation. 

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